Avios is my favorite loyalty program as it is so easy to collect and burn them. For those who don’t know much about Avios, they are like the old Airmiles with a funkier name. Avios is the miles-currency of British Airways and Iberia airlines as well as the standalone Avios.com.
You can pretty much collect and travel anywhere in the world with British Airways and Oneworld alliance by using Avios. For me they are of particular value as they can save me hundreds of real cash-pounds per trip especially for short haul weekend escapes. I don’t value much using my Avios for economy redemption for long haul flights as the taxes are a killer and can cost more than a cash economy ticket. I would prefer to either buy an Avios in business class or a cash ticket.
However this totally changes when you look at short haul economy redemption with Avios, British Airways caps the taxes on these and it costs only £35 for a return flight and as little as 9,000 Avios for Zone 1 flights which can take you to Paris, Berlin, Denmark and more. This is a bargain!!
It is an even better bargain for people like me who live in the North of the UK. In order to attract more customers BA offers FREE connection flight to London from any UK airport when you redeem your Avios. Usually I would have to make my way down to London either by car or train which would cost few hundreds and adds more travel time.
If I were to book flights for Zone 1 with Avios let’s say to Copenhagen it requires one way for 4,500 per person and only £17,50 in taxes! Now if I were to buy this in cash ticket it would have cost me £147 per person. This is a massive difference especially as my flight from Leeds costs £70 and I get this for free with my Avios redemption.
I prefer to use my Avios for short haul flights and I quite often use them for flights to Greece and Bulgaria where prices seem to be out of this world sometimes! It is very easy to earn Avios for European short haul flights either by using cashback or Tesco Clubcard points. I will inshaAllah write a little bit more on them soon. Of course the best way still remains the American Express charge card which I have discussed previously (here) on why I believe it is the best for Muslims who are looking for travel cards.This is a real cash saving that I use all the time. I actually once managed to redeem an Avios flight from Rome for an earlier arrival home for 7,500 Avios + £17,50 in taxes. The cash ticket on that day was over £800!